I have a relative that volunteers at a thrift shop. I could not do that myself because I would end up bringing home more things than I'd ever need. I'd go into Happy Magpie Mode and think "I can use that!" and "ooo shiny!" and "Unloved orphan books! Must rescue!"
Today we had to pick up said relative and give her a lift home - and I thought it couldn't hurt to just peek at a shelf or two. (Yes, you should hear a warning alarm at that sentence.) Of course that was where I'd picked up the book First Gentleman of the Bedchamber for $1 - which I only just now realize I've not remembered to write a review for - yeesh. I really need to sit down next week and do some writing. My problem is that I always want to spend more time reading my current book than summing up one that I've finished.
Anyway. I thought I'd be safe in nonfiction - there were only three shelves - but no. Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation was $1.50 and The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld was 50 cents. Could NOT resist. Why did I stop at just two? Time! The shop was about to close! Which was probably a good thing. Relative was rolling her eyes because I am notorious for having so many books. Which yes, I do! One of the other volunteers said she was the same way with shoes. Everyone does have That One Thing that is so hard to resist when you bump into it in a shop, right? But still, next time I must make sure not to drift into that corner of the shop. Way too dangerous. At least it was inexpensive dangerousness.
Meanwhile no one can see the virtual shelves of my ebooks, so they'll never know how large a room it'd take to hold all of them! And I do not need to dust.
I had another "keep me away from the store" moment online earlier - buying a gift book and instead managed to email it to myself. Facepalm. Auto-fill and lack of caffeine were not my friends. (Thankfully it was fixed. Yay, ebook presents.)
I am all too often often lukewarm on urban fantasy, especially when it slops over into paranormal romance. When UF is well done, it is highly enjoyable. But there is a lot of UF out there, and a lot of it is, to me, interchangeable, derivative, and stale.
I've been meaning to read Kate Daniels for a while, and with my vacation, and the imminent release of the newest book, which I am just getting ready to start, this seemed like a good time to immerse myself in post-shift Atlanta. This series really worked for me.
The world-building is outstanding. Aside from Seanan McGuire and Patricia Briggs, I haven't read a UF where the author has taken so much care to build an interesting, unique and well-researched world. The literary team that makes up Ilona Andrews knows their mythology, and have taken pains to include a lot of different myths and pantheons in their world. The conflict between tech and magic is interesting.
Kate Daniels is a fascinating character. She was forged in a crucible of violence, but somehow emerged with a core of integrity. She doesn't kill for pleasure, but in an ultra-violent world, she is more than capable of defending herself, even if that means killing when she has to - which happens frequently. Her relationship with the Pack alpha, The Beast Lord, Curran, is one of equals, even if Curran frequently behaves like a jackass.
Because I read them in one extended binge, it's hard for me to rank or rate the books individually. I have a sense of the books as a whole, not so much as individual installments.
Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy.
The folks at Book Riot call it 'genre kryptonite' and I love that phrase, even if you might think it means something else.
Basically, 'genre kryptonite' is anything that you are powerless to resist and love to read about.
Here's one of mine:
Intentional Communities/Communes. Especially if they feature crazy hippies who do lots of drugs and try to be idealistic without having any sort of structure.
Drop City by T.C. Boyle is a favorite.
Right now, Arcadia by Lauren Groff is hitting this mark so well. Mmmm...
I will take any other titles you can recommend on this topic; whether they are fiction or nonfiction or memoir is of no consequence.